Clinical and sociodemographic profile of patients with refractory schizophrenia treated in a tertiary center

Marceli Cezaretto Ester Franco de Souza Freitas Silva Ariane Ambrizzi Victor Eduardo Dutra de Biase Elissandro de Freitas Silva Emirene Maria Trevisan Navarro da Cruz Fabio Aparecido Borghi Gerardo Maria de Araújo FilhoAbout the authors


Schizophrenia is associated with a high degree of disability and significant neuropsychological, social and vocational deficits. Studies have been undertaken to identify the predictive factors for refractoriness in order to improve the treatment and quality of life of such patients. The present study aimed to determine the frequency of patients with schizophrenia who are refractory and non-refractory treated in a tertiary center, the clinical and sociodemographic profile of such population and to analyze the associated factors of clinical refractoriness.


Sixty-eight patients with schizophrenia were included, and 36 were refractory to treatment (52.9%). Clinical and sociodemographic data of both groups were collected, analyzed and compared. A logistic regression model was elaborated in order to verify possible associations with clinical refractoriness.


The refractory group had a higher prevalence of males (p = 0.03), antipsychotic use (p < 0.01), hospitalizations during lifetime (p < 0.01) and polypharmacy (p < 0.01). Educational level, marital status, family history of schizophrenia and substance use, were not associated to refractoriness. A delay between the diagnostic of refractoriness and the initiation of clozapine, the best antipsychotic for the treatment of refractory schizophrenia, was also observed.


The importance of further research in disclosing possible clinical and socio-demographic predictors of refractoriness in schizophrenia is therefore necessary.

Schizophrenia; psychopathology; associated factors; refractoriness

Instituto de Psiquiatria da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Av. Venceslau Brás, 71 Fundos, 22295-140 Rio de Janeiro - RJ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 3873-5510 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil